Thursday, January 12, 2012

Notes for a Poem

Poems sometimes come to me all in one gulp. I write them down and there they are. But more often I just get bits and pieces over time. I jot ideas down in my handmade notebook, cross-out, add in and so forth.

A recent idea started to come together for me in this way:

Inspiration: A greeting card depicting Henry Beston's outermost house in Eastham, Cape Cod, washed away in 1978.

Photo of Henry Beston's cottage by Debora Rosen used with permission. 1965 "Low Tide" deborarosenphotographer@gmail.com

Rereading an older poem of mine in which I mention the book The Outermost House by Henry Beston.

Looking out my window at the cabin across the field. "My own" outermost house. (see header photo)

Jotting words and lines in my notebook:

in the field
my own/an upcountry outermost house
no ocean but a man-made pond
roof crusted/limned? with snow
windows stare in surprise/like mirrors
awaiting residents/people/visitors who never arrive
the door awaits the couple who never arrive
inside the floor is uneven/dirt/pitted and........
no ladder to the loft
lost ladder to the loft
a stack of books rots on barn-board bookcase/shelves

snow instead of sand
pond rather than ocean
birch rather than beach grass
frogs rather than whales/seals

different yet both hold a sense of mystery, anticipation, solitude
facing the elements
offering protection
Henry/stray cats/snakes

one washed away in a Nor'easter
one still stands sentinel, slowly disintegrates from lack of care

Well, I don't have the finished poem yet. And maybe revealing this process will kill it, I don't know. But if it comes out I'll post it.

More information about Henry Beston Here
Photos of the outermost house Here

24 comments:

Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz said...

I like reading the 'work in progress' and know there are endless possibilities there, such as in life, some never recognized.

I especially like the visuals of 'windows stare...'

Thanks for the links, the photos of the house made me long for a place I have never been, and still long for that small space house someday...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You are capturing the lonesome feeling of being on your own. All of that unfulfilled anticipation and degradation. It is a wintery scene for sure.

Sometimes poems flow from me too. I often wonder if a poem is ever finished.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I like this process you are revealing...lines, choices...a project of the heart...your photo is an inspiration...truly outermost.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Fun to see an Artist at work. I have a friend who writes poems now and then. They come like you said.. sometimes in clumps. If she tries to write them they dont come. I have tired to get her to share them with others like a blog but she wont. only to a select few.

Katiejane said...

Your header is how we look now, as of today.
I love these snippets of poetry of yours. I understand the process. I sometimes get messages, too.

Mystic Meandering said...

Suki ~ I love getting a glimpse into your process,"window sitting" and letting nature and life inspire you. Your new header is definitely inspiring. I sometimes sit with a poem in progress a while too,going back to it and seeing what it needs, letting it speak - almost as if writing itself...

And I was fascinated that Beston meditated on "the rhythm of the waves." I can see why you miss the ocean... It is calling to you :)

Tess Kincaid said...

Don't you love when poems come delivered all in one piece? Lovely words...

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Well, that was a fun read....Thanks Suki.

Mim said...

People who can write fascinate me - this is so interesting.

I also love your top photo, would love to paint it.

Happy Friday Suki

Robin said...

Such beautiful imagery! Your words are truly a camera for our eyes!
The new header is haunting...how lovely to look out and see what you see too!

Love to you and the adorabl Bibitty!

♥ Robin ♥

~Babs said...

The poem seems finished to me, but then you are the poet, not me.
I enjoyed reading about Henry and his house,,and how you took inspiration from it to create your own reality.
Like Mim, I'm fascinated by this talent you have.

Lynn said...

I love this poem
"windows stare like mirrors"
"couple that never arrives"
the repetition of words
I can see it smell it feel it
keep going it's there
let it out
I want to read it to the end.
to the end. end.

kimmie said...

I love the thought of an "outermost house"
I imagine it is a sort of refuge for wayward travelers?
I had never heard of the term before now ... But it really has my imagination going. Great start to your poem. I enjoyed hearing what your process is.

kj said...

suki, i love this post!

it is wonderful to see your process. i jot in a notebook too: often just a phrase or image. seeing your notes shows how you will construct this poem, build it from the bottom up or top down.

there is haunting lonliness here. yet hope and anticipation resides in these buildings too. how many times have i said it, suki: you are a terrific poet.

p.s. awww the cape....

love
kj

sukipoet said...

thank you so much KJ and everyone for your complements.

KJ there are plans afoot to reconstruct the Outermost HOuse.

PeaceGardenSu said...

sooks- i tried twice to post on this thread-- now trying for the third time... testing testing! Will relay my comment via email direct to you...

studio lolo said...

Suki, I always savor your poetry and seeing you play it out like this is wonderful!
I anticipate the cpmpletion of this poem, but I get so much out of it just the way it is.

Raw form, lovely. Strong.

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